Three Idiots—The Review

Dil Chahta Hai was a watershed in the history of Bollywood, purely for how it was perhaps the first time that urban college-going students were shown speaking and dressing in ways that sounded and looked realistic, as opposed to the “Maa main pass ho gya”  good-boy and “Khambe jaisi khadi hai”-singing bad boy stereotype. A feel-good heart warming story of friendship Dil Chahta Hai struck a chord in the heart of many movie-goers and would possibly be in most people’s list of favorites.

Athough I appreciated how different it was in look and feel from old world Bollywood, I  personally did not love Dil Chahta Hai so much mainly because at an emotional level I could not connect with the story of three friends who drive a Mercedes to Goa, go to hep discos and then manage their dad’s business in Australia.

The reason was of course very personal.

I grew up in a middle class family in Calcutta and having studied in practically a boys-only engineering college with friends from similar financial backgrounds for whom hanging out meant a cigarette or a pastry from Monginis while sitting on the green grass, the world of Sid, Sameer and Akash was very much out of my realm of experience, though I understand that many people who go to college would find themselves reflected in “Dil Chahta Hain”.

Just not me.

In Three Idiots, I can say that I finally found a little bit of myself on the screen.

No actually not just “a little bit”.

A lot of me.

Which is why, despite its faults, I loved Three Idiots.

Because this was the first time that a movie about college was not about cool clothes, hot chicks, fast cars and dance fests. Instead the focus was on pressure, fear of failure,  coping with family and authority and most importantly the struggle between who others want you to be and who you want to be yourself. A struggle I myself experienced since I went to engineering school, like one of the protagonists, not because I had a love for engineering (I wanted to be a novelist/journalist) but because it guaranteed me the most secure future.

When one of the characters unwittingly reads a speech “remixed” without his knowledge (watch the movie to understand what I am saying), I laughed aloud because it reminded me of how I would take SFI/DSF (college political parties) pamphlets and then read them out in class after modifying their passionate rhetoric with a few apposite words replaced or inserted, much to the merriment of the class.

Several scenes and plot-points reminded me of things that I personally experienced in college and in high school (my high school being a far more competitive and stressful place than my college, where your worth at least in front of the teachers was determined by how many marks you got).

I could see a friend I knew in the character of the ultra-competitive Chatur, and the “engineer by nature” Rancho (Aamir Khan) and saw bits of myself in Farhan(Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) .  And when in a very astute observations on human nature,  a character says that what hurts more than seeing a friend fail is to see a friend succeed, I just could not help but chuckle in agreement at the genuineness of that “confession”.

The credit for why Three Idiots works must go primarily to Rajkumar Hirani and to the very intelligent and equally funny script with several laugh-out loud moments that kept me continously engaged and invested in the fate of the characters. The technical work is top-notch and some of the camera-work breathtaking. Performance-wise Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Aamir Khan are winners none less than the other, performances doubly creditable because they don’t really look like college students any more (My wife would disagree of course—according to her there wouldnt be many college students who look as cute as Aamir Khan).

Not that Three Idiots is without its failings. For one, the love-story disturbed the marvelous chemistry between the three friends as I felt turning off as soon as Kareena came on the screen waiting for the three idiots to come together again. More importantly, there were several places where the humor was forced and heavy-handed often coming dangerously close to Johnny Lever territory especially the cartoonish Chatur the  “Silencer” and Boman Irani’s “Munnaibhai MBBS”-redux stern authoritarian act.   Not that these characters were not interesting or out-of-place or unrealistic but sometimes they just so much overdid their character traits that they became caricatures rather than human beings.

But then these are minor jars when something strikes home as beautifully as Three Idiots causing  that one thing film-makers and novelists strive for—a direct critical hit on the heart.

Highly, highly recommended.

96 thoughts on “Three Idiots—The Review

  1. First !! ..

  2. Seems a decent movie by your review..will watch it. Waiting for your review of Hollywood’s remake of Rajesh Khanna’s film “Avatar” 🙂

  3. Wow. That’s high praise coming from you! Am watching it tomorrow.

  4. Great! Can’t wait!

  5. SRK is da king.

    Karan Arjun
    Chalte Chalte
    Kal ho na ho
    Chak De India
    Om Shanti Om All these surely says who is t KING

    In yr07, AK gives 4 hits butttt
    Total income of these 4 hits < Om Shant Om
    Thats King Khan
    n out of those 4 films no one was critically accepted, u very well know abt chak de

    IT return
    Big B-6

    thts real king

    1. you are a dumbfuck,chennai express sucked
      and amir is the king (always creating history)
      3 idiots
      dhoom 3

  6. Thanks for the early review. Hope to catch it soon. Regarding Avatar….when u write about it, and I do hope you will, do so gently!

  7. hai greatbong..

    u lyk dis muvvieee, but poot SRK in “worst list”?? u r a h8er!


  8. Looks like SRK sucks Jimmy Zhingchak’s “you-know-what”

  9. hai SRK Sucks!

    ur a h8er too

    wy u dnt lyk SRK?

    wai8 4 My Name is Khan. den u cn go an watch wid all da idiots!

  10. Jimmy Zhingchak sucks December 24, 2009 — 4:30 am

    Now Jimmy Zhingchak is sucking SRK’s ….

  11. din’t mention about Five Point Someone!

  12. why all dis tlk of sucking? i tink u haf bin deep freud 😀

    those people who r criticising SRK r i think fools. really u all r jealous tht y isnt ur fav actor tht much popular like srk. u all can go on criticising him but he doesnt talk his films talk……. n thts wat is important
    hes the king
    its not only luck but much more hard work and luck

  13. The only thing Jimmy Zhingchak needs more than a reality check is a copy of Wren and Martin.

  14. wy I nid Warren and Martini, Dhananjay??? I can rite gud!

  15. Aaahhhhhhh Engineering college memories.

    The all-boys environment (all engineering college are) except for electrical & electronics branches. Being mediocre and generally invisible. Abysmal sessional & viva marks because of being a hosteler…

    I’ll certainly watch the movie just to go back 18 years.

  16. Hey GB..I somehow guessed this movie would be nice one..and I totally agree with the engineering college+kolkata school experiences as I too had the similar experiences..

    Will watch it tomorrow…
    Thanks for an early review.

  17. Jimmy Zhingchak sucks December 24, 2009 — 4:43 am

    Either Jimmy Zhingchak is an @$$hÖ!€ or some alphabets are missing in his keyboard

  18. Sachin inODI’s with 19749Runs Avg44.29 S/R85.68
    75-80% of his 44(100’s) are match winning ones
    50-60% of his 91(50’s) are match winning ones

    Sachin h8rs alwz mek illogical comments

  19. hai Jimmy Zhingchak sucks…

    u r meking asumpsons abt my kbd? u cnt evn spl wid propr ltrs

  20. Jimmy Zhingchak sucks December 24, 2009 — 4:54 am

    Great to know that you are trolling on other people’s sites for fishing. Now stop this bull$H|t

  21. hmmm, okay. It was a bona fide social experiment by the way. 🙂 So to summarize, I just wished to see how people react in anonymous socially networked groups.

    And thanks to JZS, I actually have enough for a column/paper.

    GB, thanks as always for being a sport.


  22. Jimmy Zhingchak sucks December 24, 2009 — 5:01 am

    You are most welcome

  23. You just hit the right note too! It resonated with our personal experiences, that is why we loved it. I have never studied in JU, IIT etc but thanks to friends and cousins – got to know the stories, jokes, the ragging and not to mention the lingo. But as you say, high school for us was more pressure laden than any undergraduate degree. Even after all these years, I must say I wish I had not experienced those 2 years of my life.

    Till today, I cannot stand the sight of an injection being poked or a surgery being done, even on television. Yet my dad wanted me to be a doctor. Deep inside I always feared what would have happened if I passed out on the first day of my medical labs. Secretly I was relieved when I did not qualify. Maybe my dad was a bit shattered inside. I gladly walked into Presi for a degree in biology, promising him that I will get a Dr. in front of my name someday, albeit in a different way. My parents asked me no questions from that day onwards. I was probably one of the lucky ones.

    But there were numerous Rajus and Farhaans in our batch. Now when I see them, some of them do reflect on the fact between what they really wanted to do versus what gave them a secured future. And given our societal nature, some of them did not even know what they really wanted to do at that age, they themselves being oblivious of their talents and merely walked along with the crowd. Many of them thus took up things such as photography, making films as a hobby in later life, a kind of recluse from their regular work.

    I was also struck by the genuineness of many dialogues in the movie ( as you mention too), for e.g., when Rancho mentions the specific sequence that leads students to take up finance and be a banker. It is one of those statements where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the irony of it.

    3 idiots made me realise that Indian cinema has come a long way in treatment of a wide variety of subjects that reflect social stereotypes. The characters speak exactly like we did or do, a trend that started with Dil Chata Hai ( minus the flamboyance nature of it). Barring the love story and the drama to put the “engineer” to test, combining with the background of the Mumbai floods, it was a hilarious, touching and enlightening movie. It was a journey of laughter and tears in the true sense of the term, the ability to lighten moments even during an emotionally charged heart wrenching scene. Hats off to the makers for such an excellent movie. Hats off to Aamir, Madhavan, Sharman and Boman Irani for their wonderful acting.

    PS: And what are you saying about Aamir and Maddy not looking like college students :). Compared to Rang De Basanti, they look ages younger here. It is the curious case of Aamir Khan ;). He is “ever-cute”.

  24. See JZS… if only you were this courteous all the time 🙂

  25. Jimmy Zhingchak sucks December 24, 2009 — 5:09 am

    Why don’t you think this was another fishing experiment from my side!

  26. I share something common to many common college days of us, the “middle class family in Calcutta” and out of it. Still, I loved “Dil Chahata Hain” just like you for the sake of being “different”. Primarily because of the role played by “Akshay Khanna”.

    I shall definitely watch “Three Idiots”, primarily for “Aamir Khan”. Thanks for this review.

  27. Hi GB, Thanks for the review. I’m glad you put it up immediately. And to get praise from you means the film must be really, really good. I can’t wait to watch it..

    Plus, kudos to the marketing team and Aamir Khan for their very unique, intelligent and intriguing marketing strategy. I’m sure it will do wonders for the film’s success. Forget SRK’s ‘chhichodra’ comments [] about AK’s marketing; I say its just a case of sour grapes. Man, AK always leaves you feeling surprised, doesn’t he?

  28. Keeping my fingers crossed for the movie 🙂

  29. @GB, Thanks for the early review. I have already got tickets…will be watching tomorrow 🙂

    @Pratish, Do you think it was a good Marketing strategy? – going places disguised?

    Someone else is paying for his doings 😉

  30. GB how similar or different is it with the book ?

  31. Greatmallu, Havent read the book and so cannot say. From what I know, the romance with director’s daughter and the three friends concept is from 5 Point….the rest is original.

  32. GB, yet no word on the review of Paaaaaaaa………watsup?

  33. Dude…where is the review of “Avatar”… eagerly waiting… 🙂

  34. I think i should watch this movie ,wishing GB and his followers happy holidays and a great year ahead

  35. hmmm, good review, almost makes me want to break the thinggy of not watching movies and watch this one.. BTW the resident expert at rediff, the won and wonly Raja Sen”a” has panned the movie.. hmm, coming from the same guy who panned batman begins, well, i dont have much expectation there and over the past few years have realised yer reviews are atleast honest and true.. heres to more of them..

  36. Yeah, Raja Sen hates it. I will form my own opinion tomorrow after the 2PM show.

  37. after reading your review, i am now desperate to watch it.

  38. If anyone has to experience someone exactly opposite to GreatBong, please read Raja Sen’s review of the same movie on rediff.

    Did you read his review?


  39. It’s 3.48pm here in Bangalore and the first response shows a time of 3.47am! Wow ! And hail GB. Followers of your blog wait for you to write! Super achievement!

  40. it was a great movie till the interval and a maybe first half hour after the intermission- where raju hirani screwed up was the last hour .. absolutely terrible- and spoilt what was a merry joy ride til then . sadly they compromised on box office success and screwed up the story.

  41. yet another couch-critic December 24, 2009 — 1:27 pm

    Whats more interesting than the review is the social experiment of Jimmy Zhingchak(I like the name).
    Dont get me wrong GB but based on your previous post and the current stuff including the Jimmy Zhingchak I notice an urge to court controversy no different from your vilified Rakhi Sawant.
    As for the Jimmy Zhingchak thing the sarcasm was obvious if “ppl” have noticed his earlier posts on RTDM.Pretty similar to “We are on Facebook and wouldnt dream of associating with the “I wanna be UR frAnd” kinds on Orkut”.
    Also I read Dostoevsky and not Chetan Bhagat.
    Yeah I probably fit into that too.

  42. thnks 4 the timely review:D
    am sure the ride to the cinema will b worth it

  43. Greatbong–have been reading your blogs occasionally–and find that I can relate to your style. I’m a Tambrahm female who grew up in cosmopolitan Jamshedpur where Biharis, Bongs, southies, bawas–all live in harmony. Haven’t been back to Jam’pur since it became part of Jharkhand—but the affinity for Bongs remains. The women are beautiful and the men either a bit mad and sweet (?) like you or mean snobs like Raja Sen. Have yet to watch 3 Idiots–but after hearing the all round cheer for the film, can’t understand Raja Sen’s ungenerous diatribe. Am Aamir phan, btw. Don’t mind SRK–good chap, but a bit chalu what–as compared to Aamir who can sometimes be a real well meaning idiot.Loved your 10 worst films list. Can’t stand Devdas of Bhansali; not too enamoured of Black.

    Just got a call from a relative who has watched 3 Idiots today. Tells me to go get tickets pronto.Sez that whole hall was laughing and falling off chairs. This in a Johannesburg theatre.

    Laughed like mad after reading Jimmy Zingchak’s Englis comments.

    Sorry for taking up so much space.

  44. Wow ….that was quick …..did you rush to see the 10:35 show at the Washington Ctr !!!!

    I am probably going to watch it tomorrow.

  45. haha, thanks for the “luvship” and “frandship”, “pplz” 😀

  46. ok, too much now, gotta see it myself.

    and that Jimmy Zhingchak things is interesting… was it really a social expriment? looks like someone came up with a nice excuse for a goof-up.

  47. You forgot to mention that Disghusting scene where aamir delivers a baby .. tat was way way way outta hand ..

    But yea .. the movies damn enjoyable .. !

  48. The movie is absofuckinglutely brilliant. Funny and tender at the right moments. It’s so good that I am actually tempted to go for it a second time – something that has not happened to me since Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar!

    I am flabbergasted by Raja Sen’s review really, also considering this was the first time I have really disagreed with him. I enjoyed this far more than Munnabhai 2, which he considers the best movie of the decade or some such. I just hope it was not an attempt to strike a contrary note after or a reaction to the constant promotional activities.

    But hey, tastes differ, and here’s a personal example:

    The entire theatre was falling off its collective chairs laughing in the movie. Except for the gentleman sitting to my left. He remained completely impassive and grim throughout! I kept stealing glances at him to see some reaction, but none was forthcoming. Grim visage, not even a smile!

    My conjecture is that he was probably the strict principal of an engineering college.

  49. Indresh — check the pingback link at the bottom of the comments list. 🙂

  50. Um…GB, if you’ve gone to an engg college, you will certainly not agree with the very unreal character of the heartless principal who’s reduced to a comic caricature. AND Ranchho is shown to be a super human, who can virtually do anything. I’m myself from an NIT, one of the ‘premier’ institutes of the country, and I completely relate to the pressure being shown about. But the very fact that we have to either ‘villainise’ a character to help put across a message, or completely glorify another one, to add credibility to the message. That’s what Raju has done. He’s a master story teller though, and the film is a great watch, especially for an engineer like me, who never knew why he got into it in the first place and is now a writer/journo!

  51. 3I is a 3 hour laughathon.i dont care what the critics say, but everyone in the theatre including me just lapped up this MTV Fully Faltu style entertainer.the movie rocks. esp when raju ki ammi serves khujli wali roti 2 farhan n rancho!we were all rolling on the floors with side splitting laughter. if u want 2 watch a complete paisa vasool entertainer this festive season, go for 3I. u’ll come out smiling. its absolutely brilliant and a complete no brainer – a delightful madcap mayhem helmed by amir khan n gang.

    p.s. only the delivery scene was totally implausible.
    watch the movie with a willing suspension of disbelief n u’ll love it.

  52. i havent seen it yet, for me i wud connect with dil chahta hai more as i didnt had a life that is pressured, where i had to do things which i dont like..

    thou i m not born into a rich family, and had lot of hardships, still my life was more similar to dil chahta hai… , it was not about money, it was about not taking life seriously

  53. i personally feel 3I is the best entertainer i have watched in 2009. it’s better than PAA in terms of entertainment value. i loved the creative conceptualization of the song Zoobi Doobi. and watch out 4 Chatur – he is a little dynamite with his “balatkar, stan and mutra visarjan”!you will get a complete laugh attack if you hear his teacher’s day speech – man, he rocks right from 1st frame 2 last frame!
    the sentimental portions of the movie seem a tad contrived, so does the job interview scene – too contrived n filmy. but u wont notice them, i can assure you. this movie will be able to raise a few belly laughs even from a most stern man without a funny bone in his body! no praise is enough for this 3 hour long ha ha he he film.

    n for once you will love kareena kapoor in this movie. she looks naughty, nice, ethereally beautiful, spunky n tomboyish – all rolled together!not a single actor or actress is miscast. but i expected a bit more from my favorite Madhavan – Maddy.HE FALLS A LITTLE SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS. BUT THEN, HE CANT BE BLAMED, the whole movie revolves round aamir khan n the others r just supporting pieces in this comedy of college buddies cinema. and no it isnt preachy, unlike what the critics say.

  54. GB, I know you’re a JU alumnus, are you also from South Point? Something about your assessment of teachers at school told me that. I might be wrong.

  55. @Joe Pesci, Yes well caught. SPHS here.

  56. Hey all u SRK fans, he totally sucks man!! what great movies has he made which has a message to the masses? he is so commercial and his acting is so predictable and cliched…he should simply retire and drive his kids in Hyndai cars..enough of SRK torture…dont wanna see him in 2010 at all…

    AK on the other hand…WOW! every movie of his, a different look, different character..totally unpredictable and versatile thats a true actor..i dont wanna write more as it will get spoiled…Simply put, HE IS MARVELOUS and in this life at least SRK or any Khan cannot match Amir Khan…

  57. Hmm,.raucous entertainer yes, but the movie is mostly juvenile, scenes linger around longer than their welcome. This one certainly was meant for instant gratification, will not age well like DCH – ohh, and as the blogosphere and the media is calling it a pathbreaking movie – ummm sorry, there was nothing pathbreaking in this one. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed it too as long as it lasted but that’s about it.

  58. For those who want to know how similar the book and the movie are, the central idea of 3 friends and their life in IIT (which is called ICE or “Imperial College of Engineering” in the movie) is from the book but apart from that they’re as different as chalk and cheese.

    @GB: I think the movie was quite the entertainer, and of course, now that you describe how the movie spoke to you on a personal level, it’s natural to see why you liked it so much. However, I must mention that many of the situations were recycled from in-jokes popular amongst youth across the country! Cases in point:

    1. The NASA-designed pen (from the old joke about Russians using a pencil)
    2. The toothpaste challenge for “nothing is impossible” (taken from some comic, I think)
    3. How does an induction motor start? Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! (from a popular joke on engineering campuses)

    There may be one or two more, I can’t remember. Now, it’s not that the jokes were not warranted (it’s a movie about college students after all), but one’s respect for the screenwriters’ originality reduces to an extent, after having seen that they’ve just borrowed ideas from a common pool.

    *Warning, here be them spoilers*

    I also thought that the movie pretty much escaped into the typical “Bollywood-phillum-ishtyle” orbit after the interval, with Rancho’s identity fraud plotline, Raju’s attempted suicide, the efforts to revive him, and the whole delivery scene at the end. I appreciate the fact that the filmmakers wanted to show how application of knowledge in real life situations is more important than mugging, but a baby feared of being stillborn suddenly (and quite literally) getting life kicked into it when people start saying “Aal eej well”? Oh brother!

    That said, the central theme of the movie is a good one, and I would recommend it just for Chatur a.k.a. Silencer’s remixed speech. Man, that was a riot! “Aapne apna stan is balatkari ke haath mein diya!” 😀

    *Spoilers be ending, y’all*

  59. Murali Subramanian December 26, 2009 — 3:27 pm

    Hi there. I loved your review as well as the movie! I live in Johannesburg, South Africa and the whole theatre we were in, was laughing continuously from start to finish! What an amazingly entertaining movie! The film is pretty long, almost 3 hours but it did not drag even a bit. Every second was interesting and kept the viewer curious about what would happen next. Aamir has done it again, in what will probably be my favourite movie of his of all-time along with classics like Sarfarosh, Ghulam and Lagaan. I’m tempted to name other movies as well cos almost every movie he makes turns out to be a brilliant one. The trio from Rang De Basanti are perfect together and have really made this film an incredibly memorable one! Last but not least, kudos to Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor, the guy who plays “Millimeter” and other supporting cast members for their excellent performances! Worth repeated viewings.

  60. GB,
    Very True. This is one of those movies where you don’t care for the flaws.
    And btw, there were 2 “Chatur’-type people whom I knew in college, only a little understated…

  61. Goof in the movie ? “Spoiler Alert”

    The photo of rancho in shimla was taken by secretary of Chatur ramalingam. she had also met phunsuk wangdu to fix the appointment . How come she didnt tell Chatur..that the man in the photo is Phunsuk Wangdu, the highly sought 400 patents guy she finally got an appointment with.

    Funny Anagram: Do + IIT = Idiot

  62. Hi GB,

    Just watched 3 Idiots today ! I must say (even though there were some minor drags in the movie – like Aamir delivering the Baby) it was quite an experience. It brought back memories from my College & IIT Days ! I think each one of us must have come across a character similar to “Chatur” during their student life.

    All in all it was a complete laugh riot with a message for the Education System prevailing in our country – which values “Mugga” (Memorization) rather than Knowledge. Apart from Aamir, I really liked the character of Sharman Joshi. He symbolized the majority of the students’, trying his best to cope with pressure – that every student is forced to bear – Grades , Jobs and Family !!!!

    P.S. I’m waiting eagerly for your review of “Avatar”……hope its coming soon ! 😉

  63. GB, the movie is not as good as you are telling. Old recycled jokes, black and white characters, big plot holes, putting across the ‘message’ with the subtlety of a sledge-hammer and old Indian habit of making a man super-hero and the villain a cartoon to ‘make a point’.

    Till the speech given by Chatur the film was actually GOOD but it went straight downhill after that. Not that its a disastrous movie, but its not good either. I think the onslaught of Johar-Chopra-Dhawan-Priyan ‘crapocrity’ have lowered the bar so low that we are very pleased to see even a OK kind of movie.
    So this year Bollywood gave only one truly good movie – Dev D.

  64. Saw the movie.
    Pretty cool.
    Could have been better if the end was slightly different.

  65. Excellent movie. Never felt bored for a moment.

    As for 5.someone, I haven’t read the book either, but this is what Chetan Bhagat says in an interview:
    Bhagat, however, rubbishes the filmmaker’s claim. “Most of the film is based on my book, even the dialogues, and anyone who has read the book will be able to see the contribution in the film,” he says.

  66. GB,
    thanks for the review. I read raja sen’s review and it broke my heart. Reading that rajakumar hirani has faltered scarred my fond memories of munnabhai series. I had almost decided not to watch the movie till I read your review. With your comments I will surely watch it.
    I am still not able to muster courage to watch ‘Pa’ despite my wife is pestering me (she is a huge big-b fan). any words on ‘Pa’ which can deter/support my watching of the movie? Frankly, the posters are disgusting. do we HAVE TO LIKE anything that AB does?

  67. GB,
    I disagree with your review here. I personally did not like the movie and found that Hirani does not know when to stop. Some of the scenes are truely funny but they are few and far between.

  68. Hi GB

    Haven’t seen 3 idiots yet. But did you see “Rocket singh”? Not a masterpiece, but a really good movie, considering the fact that it came from the Chopras and had Ranbir Kapoor. Shimit Sen has done a far better job than “Chak De India”.

    It is not a comedy movie. It deals with business ethics in sales of computer. Try it on DVD if missed in theatres.

  69. now that you are recommending it so much, my eagerness to watch the movie has doubled. getting the tickets is the only difficulty now.

  70. You are a lot more kind than I would be describing the environment at SPHS. There is a thread on the subject in Orkut. Look up SPHS USA.

  71. Jimmy Zhingchak is one of the many volunteers working on Mr.Hee-Hee-Haw-Haw wooden-face’s non-existent acting reputation. Even then Amitabh continues to be the most recognized and most venerated actor worldwide. After his Last Lear, and now Paa, there’s nothing left for him to prove. Maybe an essay on the stage on Broadway or London is all he needs to round off a truly awesome career. As for 3I I plan to see it sooner than later for Aamir Khan who not only does great roles but works with others to deliver memorable performances.

  72. I quite liked the movie myself. Studying in residential engineering college and having gone through the pressures the past three years, I could relate to a lot of stuff in the movie.
    Some of the scenes, though, like the delivery one were clearly over the top and hard to digest.
    While some of them, like the balatkaar one, had me in splits.
    All in all, you have to see this one at least once.

  73. Such a let down… More than the movie, the fact that YOU, GREAT Bong thinks its a great movie. I always thought you were one of those rare people who judged movies the best. I dont mean to offend you, just what I felt.

    Anyway, I thought the movie was more unrealistic than any other college-life movies. Coz chicks, dance fests and cool clothes are actually a reality in college these days, whether you agree or not.

    But one guy preaching ‘methods of teaching’ to his professor, dean, fellow-students, girlfriend, friends, friends’ friends is not only unreal but is also very annoying. Aamir Khan, through out the movie, was in this I-will-correct-this-country’s-methods mode. In Taare Zameen Par, he was a teacher and it looked fine when he lectured Ishan’s parents. Also, the lecture lasted for a minute or two. In 3 idiots, the lecture began with the movie and ended with the same. I would have preferred if just the story and the character of Rancho gave me the message. But when he starts mouthing stuff like, “main aapko padhaa raha tha k padhaate kaise hain”, I can only see the Aamir Khan who speaks on NDTV India Questions, “you are the youth, you change the system, you become a politician.” If cool clothes, hot babes and expensive cars are not realistic, so are peeing on the dean’s house door, riving a scooter right into the hospital with a paralysis patient on it, taking bath in the college garden with the hose-pipe, and running away with the bride in somebody else’s wedding.

    Also, most jokes were copied from email fwds… the ‘why didn’t the astronauts use pencil in space?’ is a done-to-death question we all have read about. Non-original screenplay, preachy protagonist, over-acting actors do not work for me.

  74. @Jimmy Zhingchak

    That was an interesting experiment which, by the way, gave me a Khangover until I read this blog-post:

    My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul

  75. I found the movie entertaining but definitely not a great piece of cinema. I agree with what Surya has to say. Rancho is too overtly preachy at times. The movie is unrealistic in many places.I liked ‘Rocket Singh’very much. I am sad it did not do well commercially.It deserved to.

  76. Surprised. Real letdown if you go in with high expectations. the second half really drags and appears like somebody else took over the story and direction.
    So guys if you found it rollicked in the first half, please spend the interval thinking of the worst movies you saw, and you will do quite OK with the second half.


  77. Sowmik Sengupta January 2, 2010 — 5:23 pm

    I went with high expectations – and it was a terrible letdown. I have a few things to say, though:
    1. The main story and most of the incidents were copied blindly from Chetan’s work; yet the production house had the audacity to discredit him. That was disgusting.
    2. The ‘Aaal is well’ phrase didn’t go well with me. I find it a little juvenile.
    3. If Aamir/ team can help deliver a baby via web cam and Airtel web connection; then I think West Bengal govt.’s initiative to churn out diploma doctors in rural areas is a brilliant idea. Clearly, the current govt. is a visionary and we lesser mortals can’t think/innovate like them or Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Kudos.
    4. Some of the moments did remind me of engg. college – it was fun.


  78. Okay. I finally Saw the movie, GB and I loved it.

  79. Gosh GB, there you go and do it again- break my heart going gaga over silly mushy nonsense pretending to be good cinema. I would suggest you read hard Times by Dickens if you want sentimental stuff on our current pedagogical practices ; Friere or Prof yashpal if you want a serious deconstruction. What Hirani-Chpora- Khan offer is sententious mush that is neither subversive nor illuminating.

  80. Great Bong – I had been a follower of ur blog quite sometime and occassionaly comment as well.
    Unfortunately I feel this time you have got it completely wrong. it’s ur blog and ur opinion – but this time I really cant agree that this was a good movie and reminds someone of college days.
    I have studied in a premier engg collegge myself and none of this shit happens. The dean/owner/whatever character of Boman Irani is a cartoon and never exists in real life. half cooked characters.
    Only Sharman Joshi was natural.
    The Chatur-speech scene was funny yes… but Amir speaking in between so as to explain the fun-part to below-average-intelligence-viewer as to what has been replaced with what phrase – was killing the fun
    Amir – too preachy and made me believe he is an under rated star and over rated actor.
    40+ guys playing 18 yr olds? come on gimme a break!

    I think Raja Sen wrote teh correct review

    Sorry dude…. didnt expect this from the intellectual urself!

  81. Hey GB, when I first read your review, I thought movie will be equally good! Even I thought, the college stuff in DCH was too much to make sense. After watching 3i, I feel DCH made more sense!
    Only one simple Qn…. although raju/farhan are engg grads – raju even blogs but somehow he forgot to search for his friend on net…wait …even they forgot to look into office register or ask the principal, who incidentally, even knew Rancho’s father’s monthly income!!!!!!!

    After watching the movie, you looked like Taran Uncle, of Indiafm fame 😦

  82. Commenter above,

    “although raju/farhan are engg grads – raju even blogs but somehow he forgot to search for his friend on net”

    Maybe because Google still doesnt have good ontology-based search wherein say you type Ranchoddas and Google finds you all references to “Phunsukh Wangdu”. If you were watching the movie and not fiddling round with your zipper, you would perhaps have noted that Farhan and Raju did not know Phunsukh’s real name. Neither did Professor Viru know that the student was not the scion of the Chanchad family.

    Now go back to your little hen-coop and lay some eggs. Shoo.

  83. Amazing review!
    The movie reminded me of this speech by J.K.Rowling @ Harvard –

  84. I take the liberty to completely disagree with u on this one .. every “joke” in the movie was borrowed.. there is not a tinge of originality in any one of them ..right from the use of pencils in space.. to shoving the answer scripts into a pile( “The Axe” fame) … even the crass scenes at the end were borrowed lavishly from one recent ad where there is an online child delivery … things are predictable at every juncture .. this is no comparison to dil chahta hain which had genuine humour .. the argument that the protagonists are middle class and hence one can better relate is a very weak one.. one s economic situation is not the major determinant of how one identifies with characters in a cinema..

  85. Great Bong, I am a hardcore Aamir Khan fan, but I haven’t really enjoyed his movies after TZP. 3 idiots was quite an OK-ish movie, per my tastes and judgments and considering all the hoopla surrounding it, and especially after reading your raving about it, I found it quite below expectations. I completely agree with many of the comments here : its over glorification of the good and hyper demonization of the supposed evilness. Also some of the contrived funny scenes were a bit drag and quite frankly ended up being too labored. I agree with some freshness and a chuckles along the way, and am also fine with the jokes being repeated and stuff, but I cannot digest crap like Raju’s deal breaker interview where he admits of committing suicide and nonchalantly refuses to change his new found “attitude” for the sake of his employers or the mammoth pregnancy climax culminating in the glorious display of engineering feat by the main man – Rancho himself, and then the dramatic realization of truth by Prof Virus. I would have enjoyed the movie more if it were a little shorter and had less non-sense like this. Also the story becomes quite predictable with multiple suicides and unpronounceable names like Ranchoddas and Phunsukh Wangdu. I do not mean to highlight negatives purposely, but this is precisely the reason why I am disappointed. I had wanted something really tighter and a little less cheesier from an Aamir Khan movie. College setting is a bit realistic but finding a student like Rancho is totally going overboard. Also which engg college has professors speak in Hindi? This movie was funny and worth a one time watch. Not something that I would like to watch over and over again.

  86. well i finally managed to catch the movie and my reaction was “ah! well, its overrated”. i loved chatur’s character as it reminded me of a friend of mine. but think about it- it was just because rancho was that much super duper intelligent that he could survive all that. and that vacuum cleaner scene was horrendous.

    but then again i will agree with you GB on that following your heart front. I guess we all are stuck up with some profession that we never wanted for ourselves.

  87. @ Anonymous just above….. Yes, they didnt know his name was Phunsuk, but there is also a register in the college which has the address of all students, and top that, ViruS knew about Rancho’s ‘supposed’ Dad’s monthly income!!! Even in the movie, do Raju/Farhan find Phunsuk without consulting the real Rancho…. there you go to ….. thats how idiotic it is!

  88. Reply to mr. wafter…ur observation of movie is wrong,the flaw which u hv mentioned is not there as in 3 idiots its nowhere told that chatur’s secretary met phunsuk wangdu to fix appointment.

  89. The comments of Jimmy Zhingchak’s are as interesting as the post! ROFL.

  90. I am a follower fo your blog. The day i read your review i went for the movie. Its a good movie but not excellent. Though some scenes did remind me of my college days, like the tohfa kabbol ho; we had something similar called initial signature and final signature and they shall match within ragging period(6 months) for a ragging free 1st year.
    I myself have studied in a premier college and i felt that there were similar character in our college. Most professors were the one’s who left the corporate life to lead simpler one’s , but were quite disssatisfied seeing their students quicky getting past them, and beleive me some of them were real weird.
    I will tell you one incident and then you yourself can see the point. One Mr Sharma an assistant professor in Electrical dpartment asked our group this question..If there is hanuman ji holding the induction motor at one end and then krishn ji on the other what direction shall the motor run…

    So soumya caricatures do exist.
    @and bong i donot agree with your comments about the romantic scenes with kareena. She was fabulors and the zooby doo song did capture me in theatre.
    Chatur part was a little over the top but then we had our own bengali mastero Partha in college who is till revered for his sense of academics.

    All an all it was a good movie but not great, as for great it need to hold my attention for more than once which it never did. May be it had too much PJ.

    And Bong i will recomment you one movie which i went through a few days back.
    its called “clerks”. I liked it and probably you will like it too.
    I would love to read a review from you on this

  91. @GB: Is Chatur the Silencer actually Parnab?

  92. This jhinchak style in which our hero Ornob shona writes is fabulous. Way to go, Ornob shona!!!

  93. Utter nonsense movie.

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